Grove of the Patriarchs Trail
The Grove of the Patriarchs hike is a family-friendly 2.4 km hike in Mount Rainier National Park that takes hikers through an old-growth forest and over a suspension bridge. This relaxed path requires very little elevation gain but gets you right up next to trees over 91 m tall. En route, you’ll notice interpretive signs that offer nice insight into the natural flora and fauna of the forest. For a quick walk in nature, this is a trail that promises a great outing.
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Route Description for Grove of the Patriarchs Trail
The Grove of the Patriarchs hike is an easy, family-friendly trail in Mount Rainier National Park that provides the opportunity to explore an impressive forest of 91 m tall Douglas firs, hemlocks, and cedars. This trail is short and sweet, allowing it to be enjoyed by hikers of all ages. The bridge isn’t very high up, but regardless, those who are uneasy on suspension bridges may wish to try another hike.
To begin the hike, cross the suspension bridge over the Ohanapecosh River onto the island. There can sometimes be a line to get onto the bridge as many hikers will take their time making the crossing to enjoy the views of the river. You’ll walk around a wooden boardwalk next to 1000 year old giant trees, interesting mushrooms, and interpretive signs. These trees tower hundreds of feet in the air and are characteristic of the old growth forests the Pacific Northwest is so renowned for. Take the time to read the signs, snap photos next to the trees, and explore the plant life as you loop around the boardwalk.
You can linger on the island as long as you like to enjoy the forest before returning over the bridge to the parking area.
Hiking Route Highlights
This collection of forest sits on an island in the Ohanapecosh River, and the Douglas fir, cedar, and hemlocks are as old as 1000+ years and over 91 m tall in parts. Old-growth forests are considered to be over 250 years old, but certain trees in this forest smash that qualifier. Enjoy feeling uniquely small next to these ancient giants.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Grove of the Patriarchs open in the winter?
The access road, Highway 123, is closed at the park boundary in the winter and no rangers are on duty. You can access the grove by either walking up the closed road to the Stevens Canyon entrance or taking the Silver Falls Trail from Ohanapecosh to the falls. Keep in mind that restrooms are closed in the wintertime.
Can you swim at the Grove of the Patriarchs?
Yes, you can swim in the stream, but it will likely be chilly!
Insider Hints for Grove of the Patriarchs Trail
- The line to get onto the suspension bridge can be long. We recommend arriving early or visiting later in the afternoon.
- The area this hike is in is subject to seasonal weather closures. Check current trail conditions if inclement weather is in the area.
- The trail has some tree roots and bumpy sections, so consider the capability of your stoller if you wish to bring one.
Getting to the Grove of the Patriarchs Trail Trailhead
To get to the Grove of the Patriarchs trailhead from Packwood, drive east on Highway 12. Cross the Ohanapecosh River and turn left onto State Route 123. Turn left onto Stevens Canyon Road. Watch for the first parking area on the right that intersects with the Eastside Trail.
Grove of the Patriarchs Trail Elevation Graph
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Grove of the Patriarchs Trail Reviews
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